Chanell is a native New Yorker with strong roots in Trinidad, West Indies. She received her bachelor’s degree at the Manhattan School of Music, studying with Toby Hanks, and studied with Velvet Brown at Penn State. She has toured the Balkans with the Eli Yamin Blues Band through the United States State Department, and performed at Jazz at Lincoln Center. She has also played at the Michigan Womynâ€™s Music Festival, and with Nedra Johnson and The Fatbottom Girls. While a student at Penn State, Chanell held the principal tuba position with the Nittany Valley Symphony.